Thursday, December 10, 2009

Budgeting Healthy Eating Through the Holidays

By: Meredith Terranova, Austinite, nutritionist and ultra distance runner

Budgeting is so much more than saving money. It is considering the long term benefits and risks involved with each decision you make. All of this rings perfectly true in your day-to-day nutrition, and even more so in your holiday choices, and preparation for holiday meals.

Below are some ways you can budget what you eat over the holidays:

  • Plan your treats. Plan to have one item a day or less if you know you are going to splurge somewhere else.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Keep treats off of your desk and avoid hanging out in the break room. If you have a treat planned, get it and move on.
  • Savor the flavors. When you decide to treat yourself, sit and eat without distractions whenever you can - concentrating on the taste and flavors of food can help you become satisfied with less.
  • If it's not homemade, no thank you. Try to stick with this rule, and you can easily avoid store bought cookies, cakes, and candy. If someone has gone through the trouble to prepare a dish, take a taste if it is something you want to try.
  • Don't skip meals. If you know one meal is going to be huge, don't skip the rest of your meals for the day, eat light throughout the day so that you are ravenous when that meal approaches. Remember: Physical hunger overrides willpower and good intentions.
  • Last, but not least, if you do splurge don't starve yourself the next day. Get back on your good eating the next day and add in a little extra exercise.

And here are some ways to budget your holiday meal:

  • Keep the menu simple:Cut back on all those extra side dishes that everyone insists we must have, but frequently wind up going to waste. Select just two additional side vegetables, one stuffing, and the cranberry sauce. This will cut down on waste, preparation time, and additional calories.
  • Keep desserts to a minimum: Opt for one or two favorite desserts. Desserts are a great option for guests to bring. Making them yourself can also save money and calories. And baking together is a great way to get younger family members involved in the Christmas meal preparation. Tip: Fruit-based desserts can be healthier options. Apples are now in season and lower cost. See Apple Pie Recipe for an idea!
  • Write out your menu and grocery list ahead of time: Planning for the items you need and what you already have is important not only for saving money, but for making shopping easier. Check your spices (are they expired), baking ingredients, and freezer before heading to the grocery.
  • Ask for Specific help: Instead of just opening the door for people to bring anything, ask for specific healthy additions like a salad, steamed vegetables, fruit, vegetables and hummus for snack. This way healthy options are available and some of your expense is cut down.

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Healthy Living said...

These holiday, it's easy to budgeting healthy eating if you will be discipline enough to do it.
Living Healthy

johnlee said...

Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this also – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get anything done… Regards